Spirituality, intoxication and addiction: Six forms of relationship Academic Article uri icon


  • The paper considers six connections between spirituality and intoxication or addiction. They are: intoxication as a means of communication with a spiritual world; intoxication as destroying spirituality; shared use and intoxication as creating and validating community; spirituality and religion as a means of collective sobering-up; spirituality in individual sobering up; and abstinence as a spiritual practice, a witness, or a badge of membership in a spiritual community. Intoxication can either enhance or impede spirituality, both at individual and collective levels. Spirituality is often important in sobering up, both individually and collectively, and abstinence is a part of spiritual or religious practice in some traditions. But a full account must acknowledge the diversity in the interactions of spirituality and intoxication or addiction.

publication date

  • 2013